Theories of Institutional Design: Post-Communist Democratization: Political Discourses across Thirteen Countries

Theories of Institutional Design: Post-Communist Democratization: Political Discourses across Thirteen Countries

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Democracy is not just a matter of constitutions, parliaments, elections, parties and the rule of law. In order to see if or how democracy works, we must attend to what people make of it, and what they think they are doing as they engage with politics, or as politics engages them. This book examines the way democracy and democratization are thought about and lived by people in China, Russia and eleven other countries in the post-communist world. It shows how democratic politics (and sometimes authoritarian politics) work in these countries, and generates insights into the prospects for different kinds of political development. The authors explore the implications for what is probable and possible in terms of trajectories of political reform, and examine four roads to democratization: liberal, republican, participatory and statist. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of comparative politics, political theory and post-communist studies.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 314 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 22mm | 630g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 28 Tables, unspecified
  • 052180664X
  • 9780521806640

Table of contents

Part I. Introductory: 1. The discourses of democratic transition; 2. Methodology; Part II. Pre-Transition Countries: 3. China; 4. Yugoslavia; Part III. Halting Transitions: 5. Belarus; 6. Russia; 7. Ukraine; Part IV. Transition Torn by War: 8. Armenia; 9. Georgia; 10. Moldova; Part V. Late Developers: 11. Slovakia; 12. Romania; 13. Bulgaria; Part VI. Trailblazers: 14. Poland; 15. Czechia; Part VII. Conclusions: 16. Differences that matter - and those that do not.
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Review quote

' ... readers can learn a fair amount about conditions in the individual countries concerned.' Slavonica ' ... this volume is nuanced, sympathetic to national differences and fully addresses some of the deterministic impulses of the standard democratization literature.' South East European Review 'Post-Communist Democratization is a valuable addition to the study of the democratization of the former communist countries ... the book strongly opposes the hasty and sometimes politically motivated works based on cultural determination and is a welcome addition to the field of democratic theory. it is a highly recommended read for those democratization experts who believe that a more thorough study of the events of the last 10-15 years in the former communist block is yet to be done.' Acta Politica 'Post-Communist Democratization is an excellent piece of work. It was a well-conceived project, the findings of which have been equally well presented. It is a book that will be of interest to area specialists as well as those with a broader interest in theories of democracy. It is a pity that there are not more studies of this calibre available. Democratization "Useful and sometimes surprising insights..." Foreign Affairs "This interesting and frequently provocative volume is sure to appeal to readers interested in whether democracy is likely to take root and flourish in postcommunist-ruled societies. Recommended." Choice
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About John S. Dryzek

John Dryzek is Professor of Social and Political Theory in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University. He has also taught at the Universities of Oregon and Melbourne. He is the author of a number of books on environmental politics and democracy, most recently Deliberative Democracy and Beyond (2000), and Democracy in Capitalist Times (1996). Leslie Holmes is Professor of Political Science at the University of Melbourne. His recent books are Post-communism (1997) and The End of Communist Power (1993).
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